All stories by Clare Brennan on BroadwayStars

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Head Over Heels review – Elizabethan romance meets Go-Go’s jukebox musical by Clare Brennan

Hope Mill theatre, ManchesterThis improbable mashup of Philip Sidney’s Arcadia and the pioneering LA rock band has plenty of rhythm but little dramatic jeopardy Sir Philip Sidney’s 1590 …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:54AM
Thursday, January 26, 2023

The Brides review – overblown antics from David Glass and co, and for LIMF the end of an era by Clare Brennan

Jacksons Lane, London Glass’s latest collaboration cites female power but suggests the opposite, and comes as London’s influential mime festival prepares to disperse After 47 appearances…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:12PM
Sunday, January 22, 2023

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? review – Elizabeth McGovern cracks the whip by Clare Brennan

Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal BathThe Hollywood star is on top form opposite Dougray Scott in Edward Albee’s classic tale of a marriage gone sour Edward Albee’s first short play, The Zoo…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:06AM
Sunday, December 18, 2022

Betty! A Sort of Musical review – fitfully funny take on the life of Betty Boothroyd by Clare Brennan

Royal Exchange, ManchesterCo-writer Maxine Peake stars as an am-dram actor playing the former Commons speaker in Sarah Frankcom’s end-of-the-pier-style production “But this isn’t histo…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:42AM
Sunday, December 11, 2022

Alice in Wonderland review – spectacular class-flipped adaptation by Clare Brennan

New Vic, Newcastle-under-LymeAn underprivileged Alice fights for the wonder of book-learning in Theresa Heskin’s transformative take on Carroll’s classic tale A stubby barge manoeuvres t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:48AM
Sunday, December 4, 2022

The Nutcracker review – modernised magic by Clare Brennan

Bristol Old VicThe final production from outgoing artistic director Tom Morris draws fresh weirdness from ETA Hoffmann’s source story Tom Morris takes his last bow as the Bristol Old Vic…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:06AM
Sunday, November 13, 2022

Richard the Second review – an unfinished but promising production by Clare Brennan

Taunton Brewhouse, and touringTangle Theatre’s dynamic five-actor staging features a dazzling debut from Daniel Rock Founded in 2009, Tangle Theatre Company’s aim is to champion African …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:06AM
Sunday, November 6, 2022

Guy Fawkes review – a Gunpowder Plot drama has flashes of fun but doesn’t ignite by Clare Brennan

York Theatre RoyalDespite some witty twists, the stage version of David Reed’s tragi-comic radio play is, well, a bit of a damp squib By the end of the performance, a tang of pyrotechnics …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:24AM
Sunday, October 30, 2022

The Contingency Plan review – a double dose of climate crisis drama by Clare Brennan

Crucible, SheffieldSteve Waters’s newly revived and updated companion pieces about global heating have lost none of their urgency Steve Waters’s double bill about global heating, The Con…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:03AM
Sunday, October 23, 2022

Tartuffe review – modern Brummie staging skews a little too broad by Clare Brennan

Birmingham RepAnil Gupta and Richard Pinto’s updating of Molière favours caricature over character, offset by some dynamic performances Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto’s updated version (c…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:03AM
Sunday, October 16, 2022

James IV: Queen of the Fight review – Rona Munro’s knotty latest Stewart dynasty play by Clare Brennan

Theatre Royal, Glasgow; and touringA racist ode by the court poet William Dunbar is the problematic inspiration for the fourth of Munro’s James plays exploring Scotland past and present Ro…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:55AM
Sunday, October 9, 2022

The Famous Five: A New Musical review – lashings of vim by Clare Brennan

Theatr Clywd, MoldThis co-production with Chichester Festival theatre nails the atmosphere and the performances, if not Enid Blyton’s knack for a good plot Here be: a dastardly villain dis…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:43AM
Sunday, October 2, 2022

Joyce’s Women review – Edna O’Brien offers a fresh view on her literary hero by Clare Brennan

Abbey theatre, DublinO’Brien’s new play, imagining James Joyce through the eyes of the women in his life, is the hot ticket at the Dublin theatre festival Joyce’s Women, the opening pr…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 10:19AM
Sunday, September 18, 2022

Family Album review – Alan Ayckbourn’s funny, moving new play about the lives of women by Clare Brennan

Stephen Joseph theatre, ScarboroughDirecting a masterly production, the playwright follows three generations of women in one home, from 1952 to 2022 Alan Ayckbourn’s 87th play makes master…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:43AM
Sunday, September 11, 2022

Playtime review – a bubblegum take on Monsieur Hulot by Clare Brennan

Royal & Derngate, NorthamptonFive actors play more than 100 roles as Tati’s 60s satire is transformed into a meet-cute comedy of quick-change physical comedy The late, great Observer f…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:43AM
Sunday, September 4, 2022

The Steamie review – memories of postwar Glasgow speak to the present by Clare Brennan

Dundee RepTony Roper’s 1987 play conjures a vanished world whose hardship and longing for community feel nonetheless familiar The world of The Steamie is long gone. Public laundries, where…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:03AM
Sunday, August 28, 2022

All’s Well That Ends Well review – an uneven take on Shakespeare’s most puzzling play by Clare Brennan

Royal Shakespeare theatre, Stratford-upon-AvonJamie Wilkes’s Parolles steals the show in Blanche McIntyre’s unromantic, social media-inflected production All’s Well That Ends Well is o…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:37AM
Sunday, August 21, 2022

Under Another Sky review – an amiable road-trip two-hander around Roman Britain by Clare Brennan

Pitlochry Festival theatreThis playful adaptation of Charlotte Higgins’s book is charming, if a little lacking in narrative drive How to dramatise a text that is part travelogue, part expl…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 01:49PM
Sunday, August 14, 2022

Identical review – a new musical of The Parent Trap has its own special effect by Clare Brennan

Nottingham PlayhouseThe casting of twins as the separated sisters adds a frisson to Trevor Nunn’s elegant production of the twice-filmed tale, with pitch-perfect music by George Stiles Eri…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:03AM
Sunday, August 7, 2022

Finding Home review – Idi Amin’s expulsions remembered by Clare Brennan

Curve, LeicesterFifty years on, these specially commissioned pieces movingly and unflinchingly reflect the experiences of Ugandan refugees in Britain Eleanor Field’s set suggests impermane…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:07AM
Sunday, July 31, 2022

Whistle Down the Wind review – outstanding production of the Lloyd Webber musical by Clare Brennan

Watermill, NewburyTom Jackson Greaves thrillingly fuses movement with music in his revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Louisiana-set take on the classic 60s film Many will remember Whistle Do…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 06:54AM
Sunday, July 17, 2022

Underwood Lane review – John Byrne’s devilish divine comedy hits the right notes by Clare Brennan

Johnstone town hallThe Paisley-born playwright and artist pays tribute to hometown hero Gerry Rafferty in a coming-of-age musical amplified by 60s pop hits In interviews, playwright and arti…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:03AM
Sunday, July 10, 2022

The Climbers review – disappointingly flat Everest play by Clare Brennan

Theatre by the Lake, KeswickThe opening is great, but with characters as thin as the air at high altitude, Carmen Nasr’s new mountaineering drama is downhill from there The location is per…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:42AM
Sunday, June 26, 2022

Tom, Dick & Harry review – spectacular, daring take on The Great Escape by Clare Brennan

New Vic, Newcastle-under-LymeClowning and humour are brilliantly woven into the darkness and danger of this prisoner-of-war story, best known from the 1963 film Tom, Dick and Harry are the t…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:07AM
Sunday, June 19, 2022

Playboy of the West Indies review – feelgood musical that fails to click by Clare Brennan

Birmingham RepThis attempt to make Mustapha Matura’s adaptation of the classic drama into a calypso-laced entertainment has lost something in translation Something’s not quite right. The…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 08:06AM
Sunday, June 5, 2022

The Dance of Death review – gender-swapping adaptation neuters Strindberg by Clare Brennan

Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath; and touringRebecca Lenkiewicz’s version of this 1900 play loses the high stakes of the influential original August Strindberg is probably best known in …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:06AM
Sunday, May 29, 2022

Corrina, Corrina review – high seas drama hits the rocks by Clare Brennan

Everyman theatre, LiverpoolChloë Moss’s well-intentioned new play can’t quite navigate the choppy waters of sex and race among the crew of a cargo ship This ambitious new play by Chloë…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 09:54AM
Sunday, May 22, 2022

Now Is Good – a joyous musical with a makeover at its heart by Clare Brennan

Storyhouse, ChesterTim Firth’s touching show about a father and son converting a bank into a home is perfectly constructed and performed This father-and-son love story is unabashedly senti…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:37PM
Sunday, May 15, 2022

First Touch review – an attempt to give sexual abuse the red card by Clare Brennan

Nottingham PlayhouseA young footballer is groomed by his coach in a new play lacking the intensity and drama of the beautiful game at its best “If your first touch is good, life is easy. I…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:24AM
Sunday, May 8, 2022

The White Card review – the liberal art world’s blindness to privilege by Clare Brennan

Northern Stage, NewcastleA strong cast makes Claudia Rankine’s exploration of the ‘invisibility of whiteness’ compelling Alex tells Charlotte he is angry that “your people” are bei…

SOURCE: The Guardian at 07:12AM
Sunday, May 1, 2022

Habibti Driver review – predictable east-meets-west cabbie comedy by Clare Brennan

Octagon, BoltonAn Egyptian-British father and daughter tussle over culture clashes in an underpowered Wigan-set drama saved by its smart design Ashraf (Dana Haqjoo), born in Egypt, longtime …

SOURCE: The Guardian at 12:03PM

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